What's going on in the world?
June 18, 2008 5:40 PM   Subscribe

I need basic info about current events.

I've read some ask posts about current events, which led me to get a subscription to "The Week" and read Y! News headlines each day. However, even that seems to be too much information... there's lots of little stuff I don't care about in there. Just show me the really important stuff that my co-workers are going to be talking about at the lunch table.

Rather than "The Week," I need a website called "The Month," or "The Past 3 Months." I need condensed, important world news that I can digest in about 2 mins. Preferably online. (I don't mind paying for it.) (Magazines are okay; I'm desperate.)

I mean really condensed. I don't need to sound like a fountain of information, but I really need to know at least what people are talking about.

Now that I think about it... I would be really interested in hearing if you know of super-condensed news / info for all sorts of subjects... world current events, U.S., politics, science, technology ... maybe a 1-month - 1-year events summary condensed to a page or two?

Thanks in advance.
posted by blahtsk to Society & Culture (13 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
Me too. I'll pay too.

I'll even pay extra for condensed news on more specific topics too (e.g. programming, local news, etc).

Timothy Ferriss (of 4 hour work week fame) advocates reading no news. This gives you more to talk about with those people at the restaurant (waitress), water cooler (coworker), etc. Seems like a good idea if you're semi-social.
posted by ggruschow at 5:55 PM on June 18, 2008

http://news.bbc.co.uk/ has a 1 minute world news feature and lists the 10 most popular stories of the day. I'm not sure if it provides the condensed news you want but if you glance at it for five minutes a day like I do it should keep you sufficiently informed about what's going on in the world.
posted by Kevbo947 at 5:55 PM on June 18, 2008

Can't help you for "The Month" but "The Week" is, hands down, The Economist.
posted by phrontist at 5:56 PM on June 18, 2008

That's quite a tall order. You're asking for the stories of the past 3 months to be summed up in 2 minutes? BBC tries its best to sum up TODAY'S news in 1 minute.

I'll add that BBC News is a great site because if you click on a major story like this one on the Zimbabwe elections there is usually a link to an In Depth section with previous stories, links to outside sites, and a great feature called Q&A which answers questions such as:

What happened in the other elections?
What can the rest of the world do?
posted by ALongDecember at 6:03 PM on June 18, 2008

The Harper's Magazine Weekly Review, a news summary in three paragraphs per week, might meet your requirements. It's available via email and on the web; the web version has links to its sources if you need more detail. (Disclosure: I edit and sometimes write the Weekly Review.)
posted by ftrain at 6:58 PM on June 18, 2008

See, this is what I've realized recently: News is cumulative, and it gets a lot more interesting only after you've been following it for several months. I'd recommend just scanning the headlines on Google News once daily for three months. That'll give you the background you need, after which you'll only need to scan the headlines every other day or two.
posted by limeonaire at 8:05 PM on June 18, 2008 [1 favorite]

The way to go about this is not to find a blog that does it, but make a blog that does it.
posted by zadcat at 8:14 PM on June 18, 2008

I know that a lot of MeFites are anti-Fark, but skimming the headlines on Fark.com can give you a very rough sketch of what's going on in the world. You do have to filter through a lot of junk, though.
posted by chara at 8:17 PM on June 18, 2008

www.cnn.com, while giving you an American viewpoint, condenses it's stories into 3 bullet points at the top of each story. might be handy.
posted by demagogue at 9:41 PM on June 18, 2008

The Economist's 2-sentence news descriptions are my only news some weeks, but they get me by pretty well. BBC has sporadic coverage of the US, unfortunately.
posted by devilsbrigade at 10:20 PM on June 18, 2008

This may not be as condensed as you'd like it but I always liked the current events portal on Wikipedia. Its succint, but given the nature of wikipedia you can drill down for more info as much as you want. You can also separate relevant regional info by using the locations link up at the top of the page. I guess the usual caveats about wikipedia may apply, but i like it as a place to get a quick update on what's going on sometimes.
posted by kev23f at 1:45 AM on June 19, 2008

I read a daily newspaper (the Seattle Times, currently). There's lots of background in major stories.
posted by Carol Anne at 5:17 AM on June 19, 2008

You might try Infoplease's monthly key news events.
posted by lukemeister at 8:12 AM on June 19, 2008

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